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Exploring the Language of the Popular in Anglo-American Newspapers, 1833-1988

Posted on 10/21/2010


Principal Investigator Dr Martin Conboy, Department of Journalism Studies, University of Sheffield

This is a call for expressions of interest for the first two seminars of the Research Network funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council: one in Sheffield on 14 January 2011: “Exploring digital newspaper archives” and one in New York as part of the Joint Journalism Historians Conference on 12 March 2011: “The long popularization process: Anglo-American perspectives.” Please send abstracts of 500 words to Administrative Assistant by the end of October 2010 if you feel that you can make a significant contribution to either or both of the seminars. We have a limited amount of sponsorship available to support travel to both seminars and in some cases we can also pay for participants’ accommodation. Outline of the Research Network There is much work currently being undertaken in the history of newspapers in the USA and the UK and it is the purpose of this network to bring leading scholars in the field together to discuss how their research interrelates and how it can be enhanced by broader disciplinary dialogue drawing on the traditions and methodologies of history, language studies, literary studies, and journalism studies. This interdisciplinary project is made more urgent by the growing number of digital newspaper archives from the 19th and 20th centuries from the USA and the UK. As we move from a research economy of archive scarcity to one of plenty, we need to be able to set out a new, more integrated set of methodologies which enable the wealth and diversity of these resources to be more appropriately mined. Each of the seminars will seek to attract high quality, publishable research which contributes to the themes of the Research Network. The seminars, located as they are in the UK, the USA and Switzerland will aim to bring together leading researchers and emerging scholars so as to enhance the international and interdisciplinary ambitions of the project. The Research Network will also co-ordinate publication with the Media History Exchange, an archive and social network sponsored by the National Endowment of the Humanities.  Aims and Objectives To bring together scholars, researchers and information professionals to develop interdisciplinary approaches to the study of digital newspaper archives in Britain and North America To investigate representations of popular culture in Anglo-American newspapers over the period 1833 to 1988 To develop with colleagues from a range of cognate disciplines a set of agreed principles for a consistent methodology for the investigation of the increasing number of digital archives of newspapers which would extend computer-assisted research in the humanities To establish a network of scholars and researchers which can sustain such dialogues beyond the scope of the project by setting up a clear set of publishing outcomes and future collaborations To provide a forum for dissemination of best practice in historical and linguistic research approaches to digital newspaper archives To develop the general area of Historical Pragmatics by a series of sustained and focused investigations into a particular area of media language and social representation; representation of popular culture in newspapers. Each year the AHRC provides funding from the Government to support research and postgraduate study in the arts and humanities, from archaeology and English literature to design and dance. Only applications of the highest quality and excellence are funded and the range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. For further information on the AHRC, please see our website

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